Tag Archive: M249 light machine gun

The U.S. Marine Corps’ New M27 IAR: Part One




” For the past several years SADJ has been following progress of the US Marine Corps’ program to identify and field a suitable alternative to the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.  While the 5.56mm belt fed SAW is touted as a relatively portable weapon that can pump out a high volume of fire, many of the Leatherneck MOS 0311 grunts who have been humping this twenty-plus pound package since 1985 have been asking for something lighter, simpler and more reliable.  This sentiment has been repeated by many in their chain of command from fire team leaders to flag officers.

Like most any significant change to the status quo, the SAW-replacement process has been difficult as various factions have made their often contentious positions known.  Details of this struggle within the Corps, spanning more than two dozen years, will be provided in Part 2.

Meanwhile, the decision has been made and the Corps is well on its way to issuing more than 4,400 M27 IARs as fast as gunmaker Heckler & Koch can deliver them.  By early 2013, every Squad Automatic Rifleman in Infantry fire teams and Light Armored Recon scout teams will be carrying the new IAR.

But don’t mourn for the M249.  A half dozen SAWs will be retained in each Infantry Rifle Company, available to the commander as tactical situations arise. “

 ” A M249 machine gunner runs directly towards a hail of Taliban PKM machine gun fire and RPGs, laying down suppressing fire once he makes it to cover. From the cameraman: This is a short video of first few minutes of one of our firefights in Afghanistan. We were crossing an open field when a RPG/PKM Taliban fire team engaged us from about 200 meters away. The initial shot was a RPG that landed about 10 meters away from Alpha team but did not explode and bounced over the file of soldiers. From that point a Taliban PKM gunner engaged us with about 200 rounds. No US soldiers were injured during this engagement. (Not shown in video) After about 15 minutes of trading rounds the Taliban ran away. “